Working in partnership with Bellway London Partnerships

4th August 2022

Our Fire Engineering specialists at Robson Frankham have been working in partnership with Bellway London Partnerships over the last 4 years to deliver multiple large residential schemes.

The schemes include a mixture of high and low rise blocks, small commercial units and houses. Our involvement with Bellway London Partnership’s design teams and internal technical & commercial teams has been from the earliest planning stages right through to handover to ensure the fire safety elements of the design are robust and fully compliant with the relevant fire safety guidance and legislation.

Since the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire there has been an ever-evolving approach to fire safety design – the consequence of the consistent changes being made to legislation and guidance documents, such as Approved Document B. The Robson Frankham team have therefore utilised our in-house expertise to accurately interpret and incorporate these requirements within our fire strategies and design documentation. The approval bodies: primarily Building Control and the fire service have additional preferences and requirements, above and beyond legislation and guidance, that we have to address and comply with.

The greatest challenge that we currently face is that revisions to both Approved Document B and BS 9991 are imminent, with draft versions of each having been released to industry for comment. There are allowances being made in current designs to try and address any potential implications imposed by the upcoming changes. However, the full impact is very difficult to confirm, particularly due to the significant quantity of comments sent back regarding BS 9991. As a result, buildings are being designed based on what the new guidance document may ask for rather than what the current guidance recommends. Robson Frankham are working in close collaboration with the approving authorities to navigate this situation until clarity is provided.

Robson Frankham are assisting all of our clients, including Bellway London Partnerships, to minimise the impact of guidance changes that will potentially result in significant re-design works by striving to have input into the building design and fire safety systems from a very early stage. This can help to reduce the number, and complexity, of fire safety systems, such as mechanical ventilation systems, within a building. This will then reduce potential approval times, which can be in excess of 12 months where complex fire engineering or CFD modelling is incorporated into the design.

About Robson Frankham
Robson Frankham is a dedicated fire engineering company working in both the existing and new build environments. We have experience working in almost all sectors, including transport, residential, commercial, education and healthcare. We specialise in Fire Engineering, Drawings Reviews, External Wall Surveys, Fire Safety Site Inspections, and Fire Strategies.